Steps to Form a Union

Steps to Forming A Union

Although every workplace is different and the reason you want to form a union may differ from another person, the process to form a union is the same.  By following these steps, and working closely with us, you too can enjoy the benefits of a union contract.  At UFCW Local One we represent employees working in virtually every industry such as, retail food stores, retail stores, drug stores, food processing plants, transportation companies, hospitals, nursing homes, office workers, manufacturing and processing plants, and more!  No matter where you work, Local One can represent your interests, and the process to forming a union begins the same way in any workplace. 

To begin forming a union where you work you must fiPrivately talk it over with your co-workers ...rst find out if your co-workers want to form a union.  Gage their interest by quietly talking to a few trusted co-workers who you think may be interested in improving your workplace.   Once there is interest, contact a member of UFCW Local One’s Member Recruitment Team to assist you.  A UFCW Local One Representative will help you in forming and educating an Organizing Committee of trusted and respected co-workers.

Call 1-800-NYS-UFCW, Ext. 2323 to speak confidentially to a Union Representative in our Organizing Department.  You can also contact someone by e-mailing them at or fill out the interest form at the bottom of this page, and someone will contact you.

Your Organizing Committee

Build an Organizing Committee ...

Leaders are identified and an organizing committee representing all major departments and all shifts reflecting the diversity in your workplace is established. Weekly Organizing Committee Training begins with a trained member of UFCW Local One’s Member Recruitment Team. Your Committee members must be prepared to work hard to educate themselves and their co-workers about the benefits of joining UFCW Local One.  They must also be ready to warn and educate co-workers about the impending management anti-union campaign. The organizing committee must be educated about workers’ right to organize.

Information Gathering is vital to a successful vistory:

  • workplace structure: departments, work areas, jobs, shifts
  • employee information: name, address, phone, shift, job title, and department for each worker (employee list)
  • employer information: other locations, parent company, product(s), customers, union history

Your Issues…

Identify the issues in your workplace ...

The committee develops the issues at your workplace that needs to be improved (the goals of improvements) and a strategy for the union campaign. A plan for highlighting the issues program in the workplace is carried out through various organizing campaign activities.  These will be discussed in detail at your weekly committee meetings.

Authorization Card Drive!

Sign people up ...

Your co-workers are asked to join UFCW Local One and support the union campaign by signing union authorization cards.  The goal is to sign-up at least 60% of your workplace on authorization cards. The card campaign is done quickly, by the Organizing Committee with the assistance of a Union Representative from UFCW Local One, and is necessary to hold a union election.

Union Election Held…YOU WIN!

Win the union election ...

The signed cards are used (and required) to petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a secret ballot election at your workplace. Once the cards are filed with the NLRB It will take the labor board several weeks to determine who is eligible to vote and schedule the election. The union campaign must continue and intensify during the wait. If a majority votes yes for UFCW Local One representation, the employer must recognize and bargain with the union. Winning a union election not only requires a strong, diverse organizing committee and a solid issues program, but there must also be a plan to fight the employer’s anti-union campaign.

Negotiating Your Contract

Negotiate a first contract ...

The organizing campaign continues after election victory!  The real goal of the campaign, a union contract (the document the union <along with your negotiating committee> and the employer negotiate and sign, covering everything from wages to how disputes will be handled), is still to be achieved. You and your co-workers must be mobilized to support the union’s contract demands (decided by you and your co-workers) and work together so that your issues will be addressed in the contract.

One Union. One Voice.


Now that you won the right to be represented by UFCW Local One, your workplace is assigned a Local One Union Representative that will work closely with you and your Union Stewards to make sure that the contract is being adhered to by your employer.  You and your co-workers are now ready to see and feel first hand the benefits of belonging to a union.  CONGRATULATIONS!

Contact an Organizer by Clicking Here!